Recent Modernist Blog Posts

Welcome to the Amazing Food Made Easy blog! This is a place I can share information and updates that don't fit into a specific area on the rest of the site. I focus mainly on sous vide and modernist cooking but if it's an interesting cooking method or fun cooking news I'll cover it as well.

In addition to cooking and sous vide news, how to guides and other articles, there's a lot of different types of information here including:

If you are looking for recipes you can view them on my pages for latest recipes, whipping siphon recipes or sous vide recipes.

If there's something specific you'd like to see, please let me know. If you are a brand or blogger, here's how to work with Amazing Food Made Easy to get some more exposure.

Thanks, enjoy the blog and happy cooking!

Which Sous Vide Machine Shoud I Buy - Ask Jason

Sous vide turkey breast circulator tall

I'm constantly getting asked what type of sous vide circulator someone should buy. This used to be an easy question to answer because there were only one or two reliable machines but now there are several options, all of which are generally comparable and can get the job done.

I decided to put together this article to help people quickly get an overview of the top circulators. I've focused on the major deciding factors I think are important such as heating power, how loud it is, and the price.

To help with this, I reference a few of our sous vide benchmark tests such as Heating Power (how fast the circulator can heat the water), Sound Level (how much noise does the machine make), and Power Consumption (how much power does the machine use).

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Museum of Food and Drink: Chow Exhibit

Mofa chow sign

I recently was able to attend the opening of Chow, the latest exhibit at the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD). The exhibit is really interesting and explores the history of Chinese-American restaurants, cuisine, and culture.

They have a ton of historic items from Chinese restaurants and several displays that touch on topics from the first Chinese immigrants up through Panda Express. If you are in or around New York, I highly recommend heading down to the museum to check out everything they have there.

While you should definitely go see the museum yourself, here are a few highlights:

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How to Sous Vide Turkey

Sous vide turkey serving side

This year for Thanksgiving I wanted to focus on spending time with my family without having to worry about the turkey all day. I'll also be at my mother-in-law's place, which has a smaller kitchen so I didn't want to hog the oven all day.

I looked at a few options and eventually decided to let sous vide come to my rescue! I put this write-up together for other people interested in using sous vide for their turkey, either on a holiday or just a regular night.

The process for sous viding a turkey is a little more involved than just tossing it in the oven, but almost all of it can be done ahead of time, the meat turns out amazing, and it reduces a lot of the stress I always feel when I'm roasting a whole bird.

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Experiments to Determine How Long Will a Sous Vide Ice Bath Keep Food Safe

Safely delaying a sous vide cook is arguably the greatest benefit to having a WiFi enabled sous vide machine, especially if you are often out of the house when you want to start a sous vide cook.

Sous vide ice bath compliation

In order to delay the start time, use a combination of ice and water to keep your food out of the danger zone until you are ready to start cooking it. You can learn more about how and why to delay a sous vide cook.

Because keeping the food cold is critical to safely delaying the start time, I wanted to more closely examine just how long a combination of ice, water, and food will actually stay cold when sitting out at room temperature. To accomplish this, I ran a series of experiments that monitored the temperature of the water over time.

The rest of this article talks about the experiments and shares the results.

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How Does the ChefSteps Joule Compare to Other Sous Vide Machines?

Joule review   4 compare heigth

There's been a whole lot of talk about ChefSteps' new Joule sous vide immersion circulator. Between the lack of a physical interface (hello, smartphone controls!) and the small size, there's a lot of talking points.

For me, the most important aspects are how well it heats the water, and how much noise does it make...hey, I live in a small New York apartment and even a little noise fills the whole place!

We decided to take the Joule and put it through our sous vide benchmark tests to see how well it compared to the other major brands out there. Spoiler alert...it did pretty dang good!

The first set of tests determine how quickly the circulator can heat the water. It went from room temperature to 140°F (60°C) in only 20 minutes and from hot tap water to 140°F (60°C) in just over 5 minutes.

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ChefSteps Joule Immersion Circulator Detailed Review

Joule Review   Joule   Boxes

This is a detailed equipment review of the Joule, an immersion circulator manufactured by ChefSteps. They just recently released this WiFi enabled immersion circulator which, when attached to a suitable container, will provide an excellent water bath for sous vide cooking.

If you are interested in getting involved with sous vide cooking, especially if you are interested in a circulator with WiFi, this review will give you all of the information you need to determine if the Joule is the right immersion circulator for your needs.

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Anova Precision Cooker WiFi Immersion Circulator Detailed Review

Anova wifi in box

This is a detailed review of the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi, an inexpensive immersion circulator manufactured by Anova Culinary LLC. This circulator is essentially identical to the original Anova Precision Cooker except that the capability to communicate via WiFi has been added.

This circulator, attached to a suitable container, will provide an excellent water bath for sous vide cooking. If you are interested in getting involved with sous vide cooking, this review will give you all of the information you need to determine if the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi is the right immersion circulator for your needs.

The addition of the WiFi feature to the Anova Precision Cooker provides several benefits - the most noteworthy are the capabilities: 1) to delay the start time of your cook and 2) to provide remote communication with your sous vide machine. Depending on your lifestyle you may decide that WiFi on your sous vide machine would be a "nice to have" but you don't envision that you would use it often. Or you may determine that WiFi is a "must have" to simplify your life as a sous vide cook.

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Sous Vide Machine Benchmark Results

Benchmark setup.png

Lately there have been more and more sous vide machines entering the market every month. Each one has its own specifications, and pluses and minuses. Depending on what is important to you, different machines might meet your needs better than others.

To help showcase the differences between the sous vide machines, and let people know which machines perform better at certain tasks, we created our Sous Vide Benchmark Tests. We run sous vide machines through a specific set of tests so the results can be compared across machines.

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Taste Talks Brooklyn Recaps

This Saturday and Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Taste Talks Brooklyn Food and Drink conference. It was a full day of talks and panel discussion by some of the best chefs in the country. This year Sean Brock from Husk was the Curator (if you haven't read his cookbook Heritage go get it now) and the event was amazing.

On Saturday there were 18 different 45-minute talks crammed into an 7 hour day with some amazing chefs. I managed to make it to the 6 panels that looked best to me and really enjoyed every one.

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Interpreting Southern Food in New York

I really love good BBQ and I think this panel turned out to be my favorite. They had a great mix of viewpoints and while they all were coming from very different places they completely respected the opinions of the others. It made for a very dynamic panel as they addressed some heavy questions.

It included Jean-Paul from Blue Smoke, Susan Simmons from Birds & Bubbles, and Daniel Delany from Briskettown.

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What Heritage Means - Taste Talks Brooklyn

The What Heritage Means talk was fantastic and one of my favorites. All three panelists had different upbringing and got into cooking Heritage food in different ways. The moderator was Matt Rodbard, who wrote Koreatown (which I really need to get) and he did a good job moving the conversation around and getting everyone's viewpoint into the talk.

The panel included Suvir Saran from Tapestry, Joseph "JJ" Johnson from The Cecil and Esther Choi from mŏkbar. It was great listening to people with such passion for the food they are cooking. They also seem to view it as not just feeding people but educating them while celebrating a culture.

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The Shape of Food to Come - Taste Talks Brooklyn

One huge benefit of living in Brooklyn is the easy access to events like this one, it was being held a few miles from my house. A negative is that you usually take the subway, and in late summer it's like a sauna down there. By the time my 30 minute trip was over I was dripping with sweat, not the best way to start off the conference. Luckily this first panel quickly made me glad I decided to attend.

This panel has some of the most innovative chef's in the city on it including Wylie Dufresne, Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske talking about the future of food and restaurants.

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Should You Sear Before Sous Vide? - Ask Jason

Sous vide ribeye morel scapes searing

Some people say you need to pre-sear your food before you cook them sous vide. Other people say to sear afterwards. Some say to do both. What's the right answer?

Thanks
- Harold

This is a great question and one that many people run into. I'll look at both sides of the question, whether to pre-sear and whether to post-sear. I'll start with the post-sear as it's the easiest to answer.

If you want good flavor and crust on your food, you will always want to sear it when it is done cooking. Even if you do a pre-sear, the crust itself will go away and can only be established by searing it after the sous vide process is over.

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Should You Brine Sous Vide Food? - Ask Jason

How to brine pork

Whenever I cook pork or chicken I always brine it. Is this something I still need to do with sous vide? I've noticed most of your recipes don't use a brine.

Thanks
- Samantha

Very good question! And the answer is "It depends"!

Traditionally, the brine was used as a way to maintain the juiciness of food, as well as to firm up the texture and introduce flavors. This is all still true in sous vide cooking, though it isn't as apparent because the sous vide-only result is so good by itself. We will break down brining into "meat" and "fish", since they are handled differently.

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Gourmia Immersion Circulator Pod Detailed Review

Gourmia and Recipe Book

This is a detailed review of the Gourmia GSV130 Digital Sous Vide Pod, an inexpensive immersion circulator manufactured by Gourmia. Near the end of 2015 they released this low-cost immersion circulator which, when attached to a suitable container, will provide an excellent water bath for sous vide cooking. If you are interested in getting involved with sous vide cooking, this review will give you all of the information you need to determine if the Gourmia is the right immersion circulator for your needs.

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